Giant Pumpkins on the Horizon

Have (really) big plans for the fall? Your first stop is right ahead.

THE GREAT PUMPKIN WEIGH-OFF... at Irvine Park Railroad may be over five months away, at this typing, but giant pumpkins don't magically materialize overnight, except, of course, in fairy tales. Where, let's be honest, the pumpkins are iridescent and sparkly and they actually don't even take a full night to appear but, rather, like a few seconds at most. However, squashes of notable size in the non-fairy tale world? Those behemoths take many days to grow astoundingly girthful, so many days, in fact, that should you want a giant pumpkin in time for fall, you'll need to get serious about your pumpkin-perfect plan in the springtime. The lovely people at...

IRVINE PARK RAILROAD... are kindly reminding hopefuls looking to compete at its annual Great Pumpkin Weigh-off, which returns on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, that go-time is nearing in terms of readying your garden. Do you want your vines looking vivacious before summer kicks into warm gear? Do you want to enter a giant pumpkin at the 2017 stem-topped showdown? Then best be at the Miner's Meadow area of the Orange County attraction on...

SATURDAY, MAY 6: That's when the Southern California Giant Pumpkin Growers Forum will take root for 90 minutes of informative talk, including "how to grow a giant pumpkin from seed to harvest." The winner from last year, Chris Dunn, will stop by to talk about growing mega tomatoes. And if you and yours are among the first 30 families to check in for the 10 a.m. to-do, you'll leave with some gratis giant pumpkin seedlings. If autumn is your jam, and orange, seedy, colossal fruits are your passion, this could be the year you enter a winner at the Great Pumpkin Weigh-off, which boasts a bevy of cash prizes. For info on the May get-going-growers event, and the September spectacular, where the actual, fantastically large fruits of everyone's labors will be on view, click.

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